You can't go wrong with easy, cheesy, comforting meals inspired by kiddie classics.

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Monday: Rachael Ray's Chicken Pepperoni

Chicken Pepperoni
Credit: Photography by Nicole Franzen

It's a protein-packed pizza-type-thing the whole family will love. 

Recipe: Try Rachael Ray's Chicken Pepperoni

Tuesday: Rachael Ray's Turkey Grilled Cheese with Suiza Dipper

Turkey Grilled Cheese with Suiza Dipper
Credit: Photography by Kate Mathis

Grilled cheese is good year-round, but made with turkey, red onion, two types of cheese, and a flavor-packed suiza dipping sauce, it's the perfect easy winter dinner. 

Recipe: Try Rachael Ray's Turkey Grilled Cheese with Suiza Dipper

Wednesday: Quesadilla Club with Garlicky Kale

Quesadilla Club with Garlicky Kale Recipe
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

These quesadillas are quick, veggie-packed, and on-theme for the holiday season. 

Thursday: Rosemary & Butternut Squash Chicken Soup

Rosemary Butternut Squash Chicken Soup
Credit: Photography by Andrew Purcell

Nothing beats a bowl of chicken soup on a cold night! This one includes squash and rosemary for an extra-comforting kick. 

Friday: Apple-Bacon-Cheddar Mac 'n' Cheese

Apple-Bacon-Cheddar Mac'n'Cheese

The all-time classic kiddie dish tastes even better with bacon and apples—two things adults love as much as little ones do! 

Ingredients

For the chicken pepperoni

  • 4 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz. each)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) fennel seeds
  • About 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red field pepper or red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 6 to 8 Italian hot pickled pepper rings in brine, not oil (I like Cento)
  • 1 rounded tsp. (about 1/3 palmful) dried oregano or marjoram
  • 3 tbsp. sun-dried tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 ounces (about a 3- to 4-inch piece) good-quality pepperoni
  • About 3/4 cup red vermouth or red wine
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups tomato passata or tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup (a small handful) fresh flat-leaf parsley tops
  • 1 ball (8 oz.) fresh mozzarella
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves
  • Italian bread with sesame seeds, for dipping

For the grilled cheese

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large jalapeño chile or 1 small poblano chile
  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic (from about 6 cloves)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 package (14.5 oz.) fire-roasted tomatillos (I like Frontera brand) or 1 can (14 oz.) whole tomatillos
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, Mexican crema, or crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tbsp.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 4 tbsp. butter, at room temperature, or 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 slices sourdough bread or good-quality white bread (1/4 to 1/2 inch thick each)
  • Pickled jalapeño slices
  • Fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 8 slices pepper Jack
  • 1 lb. sliced roasted turkey breast
  • 8 slices Swiss cheese

For the quesadillas

  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red jalapeño chile
  • 2 tsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 cups (packed) baby kale (about 4 oz.)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) grated Monterey Jack
  • Guacamole and lime wedges, for serving

For the chicken soup

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 lb. ground chicken
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 lb. butternut squash
  • 1/4 lb. celery root
  • 1 large leek
  • 3/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 6 oz. campanelle (cone-shaped pasta) or other dried pasta
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

For the mac 'n' cheese

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 2 leeks
  • 3/4 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 8 ounces sharp white cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley